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Good things are brewing in Milwaukee, and VISIT Milwaukee has launched a series to share these stories of positivity.

'Good Things Brewing' shows what a custom sneaker designer and the official Bucks DJ have in common

DJ Shawa, offiial DJ of the Milwaukee Bucks (left) and Sneaker Designer Noel Alvarado (right)
Good Things Brewing
DJ Shawa, offiial DJ of the Milwaukee Bucks (left) and Sneaker Designer Noel Alvarado (right)

Good things are brewing in Milwaukee, and VISIT Milwaukee has launched a new TV series to share these stories of positivity. Good Things Brewing seeks to show what makes Milwaukee a great place to live in through the eyes of some of the city’s most interesting residents.

We’re partnering with VISIT Milwaukee and speaking with some of the guests on Good Things Brewing. For episode two, the featured Milwaukeeans are DJ Shawna, the official DJ of the Milwaukee Bucks, and sneaker designer, Noel Alvarado.

As a sneaker designer, Alvarado shares how one of the biggest and most common misconceptions about his work is the time that it takes to finish a project. He says, "I do post videos of my work, and typically, like a clip for like Instagram is anywhere from ten seconds to a minute. And I feel like a lot of people get the idea, 'It should be pretty quick.' Well, in reality, it does take me like anywhere from like eight hours to 10 hours or could take a couple of days." Most of the time comes from the prep work that goes into the process before the shoe is painted.

For both Alvarado and DJ Shawna, it's the details and prep time that make the difference. "I'm a firm believer in the 10,000-hour theory. I've lived it through my basketball career, and then, I think I'm living through it with my DJ career, and it's just about repetition," says Shawna. After her professional basketball career overseas came to an end, she was figuring out her next move and became inspired by a DJ in Walker's Pint and entered the field. Before long, DJ Shawna was making a career out of it.

"So I was like just hustling, trying to figure out where I fit in this world. And I kinda had a feeling one was going kind of  make-or-break, it was going to be basketball training or it was going to be DJing and I didn’t expect it to be DJing to be honest," she says. "And I just haven’t looked back."

The Milwaukee Bucks have influenced the lives and careers of both DJ Shawna and Alvarado. "I feel like the Bucks were like the first team to really dive into their community, you know, just giving me a chance to showcase what I do. As far as like a brand like that, like an actual NBA team was just a crazy thing to happen," says Alvarado.

He adds that being a part of the Bucks' rise and celebrating their successes has also influenced his appreciation and love for Milwaukee. "I used to have blinders... 'Milwaukee is not so good, or there's a lot of danger around Milwaukee.' So, seeing how they are now diving into the community ... it's opened my eyes to seeing Milwaukee with a different lens," Alvarado explains.

DJ Shawna adds, "I would attest that [the Bucks] have changed my career trajectory immensely, and especially winning a championship. Being able to celebrate that two year anniversary is just such a really cool, very surreal feeling. But the way that they influence, and that ripple effect that isn't just in Milwaukee. It's not just in downtown. It is, I think, a statewide and global impact."


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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